From education to employment

Skills council approve Union findings

The Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the Lifelong Learning Sector has unanimously endorsed the findings of the TUC report, “Ready, Willing and Able”, published last week.

Speaking exclusively to FE News, David Hunter, Chief Executive of Lifelong Learning UK, commented: “LLUK welcomes the proposals put forward in the TUC report “Ready, Willing and Able”, to support employment opportunities for older people who want to stay in (or return to) paid employment”.

Sector Skills Councils (SSC) are employer-led, independent organisations that cover specific industries across the UK to identify and reduce skills shortages on a sector-by-sector basis. Because they are formed and led by employers, each council can provide a greater dialogue and widen assertiveness regarding the UK skills base.

Lifelong Learning UK is the SSC “responsible for the professional development of all those working in community learning and development; further education; higher education; libraries, archives and information services; and work-based learning”.

As Mr Hunter explains: “As the SSC for the Lifelong Learning Sector, we look to those with a wealth of professional experience in other sectors to move into teaching and supporting learning. Older workers with diverse backgrounds in agriculture, care, engineering and law, to name just a few, find valued and rewarding second or third careers in colleges, universities, libraries or community learning”, Mr Hunter continued.

And looking to a change in government policy, he said: “For this reason we particularly support the push here for policy changes that will support all older workers that want to work in finding and retraining for employment”.

“As Leitch reports, over 70% of 2020’s workforce is already of working age. For industry, commerce and the public services to remain competitive and effective in this global age the attitudes towards recruiting, retraining and developing the workforce aged over 50 must change”.

Vijay Pattni.

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